THUNDER BAY – On Friday, April 1st, 2011 City Administration released their public memorandum to the local media for Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting. That document outlines Administration’s Recommendations to Council regarding the proposed Big Thunder Wind Park development as set out to supposedly reach a compromise with Horizon Wind Inc. In fact, that “compromise” will result in greater impacts on local residents and increase the City’s future financial liabilities.
It is our message to Council, City Administration and the general public that absolutely NO decision should be made or encouraged on Monday night regarding the proposed turbine locations, road access, easements or turbine size on the Nor’Wester Mountains. It is unfair and unacceptable to have such a recommendation posted on Friday afternoon, for a Monday evening meeting. A postponement to allow for proper analysis and critique is necessary and warranted given the scope and significant changes to the project. It will not hamper any required process Horizon Wind Inc. may have, since the Province has requested another Open House as part of Horizon’s final REA (Renewable Energy Approval) report. Council has an obligation to its citizens to make the best informed decision, and not dismiss public input and concerns, particularly of those in South Neebing.
The NMEPC is particularly concerned since it was promised a fair and transparent public forum and no opportunity from the City has been allowed to comment on this “new” compromise proposal. There are so many changes to (and questions about) the project proposal that it seems incredulous that the City would even consider approval at this point.
It is our position that NO decision should be made by Council or Administration on Monday evening until all the proposed project amendments, turbine re-location, new view shed analysis, size, sound and health implications (turbine sizes are now 141, 161, 186 metres with some proposed without any height restrictions whatsoever) and all other Lease changes, etc., are effectively reviewed.
We are confident that Council will act responsibly for their citizens before signing any Agreement which can and will have irreversible consequences.
Norwester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee